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KPA speaks on Covid-19 outbreak amongst staff, drafts remedial measures

By Japheth Ogila | April 14th 2020

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) acting Managing Director Eng Rashid Salim during in a past function. He was appointed the acting managing director for KPA after the resignation of Daniel Manduku. [Gideon Maundu, Standard]

Kenya Ports Authority has spoken about its commitment to fight Covid-19 outbreak that has penetrated its walls infecting four members of staff and killing two of them.

In a press release seen by Standard Digital, KPA acting Managing Director Eng Rashid Salim said that the body has noticed with concerns the danger posed by the disease and has put in place measures to curb the probable further spread.

The statement comes after KPA staff, 59-year old James Onyango, died of Covid-19 over the weekend after which his body was hurriedly buried at night in Siaya leading to a backlash from the public.

According to Mr Salim, the infections have not only affected the KPA staff members, but also the contracted workers employed by client companies.

“KPA has seven confirmed COVID-19 cases since the epidemic started. Four of these cases involve KPA staff while three are contracted cleaners working in the Port,” he noted in the statement.

“Unfortunately, we have since lost two members of staff to the disease while all those who had contacts with the patients have been identified and are being monitored in quarantine within Mombasa.”

He said that the patients who are admitted at the Coast General Hospital are responding positively and may recover soon. Rashid said that a committee has been established to help KPA step up with various preparedness plans against the scourge.

“We have so far put up 107 handwashing points with antiseptic soap and placed sanitizer dispensers at various areas. These include all entry gates, buildings, offices and operation areas, and most importantly staff are regularly issued with face masks,” he stated.

He also revealed that the body has activated an electronic cargo clearance platform to minimise the risks that may lead to the spread of the disease.

He stated: “It is also important to note that we have enabled our on-line cargo documentation processes to facilitate our customers’ clear cargo electronically and decongest human traffic within the Port. Still, on awareness, we are also using a stationary Public Address System to remind workers about hygiene requirements.”

Besides these are various health safety measures on the arrival and clearance of cargo at the port which he said will be overseen by Port Public Health officers.

These he said include: Mandatory pre-arrival reporting on details of vessels before docking, mandatory quarantine for crew arrival from high-risk countries, crew or passengers from Covid-19 stricken countries are not to be granted passes but only Kenyans and foreigners with valid documentation to be allowed into the country among other measures.

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